Migrants surprise sunbathers by rushing onto Spanish beach

Max Burman
As the migrants arrived one onlooker asked in an astonished voice, “What’s going on?” (Carlos Sanz via AP)

Sunbathers on a Spanish beach were met with a very real reminder of Europe’s migrant crisis on Wednesday when a rubber dingy packed with people arrived on the shore.

Amateur video footage filmed by one of the beachgoers showed a black inflatable boat coming ashore in Cadiz, on the southern Spanish coast, filled with around two dozen people suspected to be migrants from Africa. As the boat pulled in to shallow water, the migrants on board quickly jumped out before scattering on the beach.

Carlos Sanz, who was on the beach and filmed the video, said the migrants soon vanished and were nowhere to be seen when police arrived some time later.

Disembarkations like this by migrants on Spanish beaches are far from common but have happened before, especially at Spain’s north African enclave cities Ceuta and Melilla, which border Morocco.

Spanish officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the incident (Carlos Sanz via AP)

While the migrant crisis has drifted from the consciousness in much of Europe, thousands continue to attempt the dangerous journeys from Africa and the Middle East.

55 African migrants were feared drowned Thursday after some 180 Ethiopian and Somali migrants were forced into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers. That would represent the second such incident in as many days, after 50 teenage African migrants were “deliberately drowned” on Wednesday by a smuggler who forced 120 passengers off his boat, according to the International Organization for Migration.

“It may be the start of a new trend, smugglers know the situation is dangerous for them and they could be shot at, so they drop them near the shore”, said IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon.

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